This ought to be a question that every better blogger asks themselves and answers before creating their own.
Once a draft headline (blog title) has been created then assessing it by answering additional questions makes good sense too.
- Is it specific?
- Is it focused?
- Is it credible?
- Does it touch a nerve?
- Is it easy to understand?
- Does it provoke curiosity?
- Does it invite conversation?
- Does it have a newsy element?
- Does it deliver a complete message?
- Does it make a unique claim or statement?
- Does it offer a compelling benefit for reading?
Headline (Blog Title) Tips
(1) The primary purpose of the headline is to get attention. The way to do this is to write a headline that attracts reader interest (the hook).
(2) The secondary purpose of the headline is to capture the essence of the post in a nutshell, and makes readers eager to find out more about what the body of your post contains.
(3) The best way to write a good headline is to keep it simple and direct. Be clever only when being clever is called for. Don’t yield to the temptation to write cute headlines or slogans unless doing so fits especially well with the content and tone of the story.
(4) Effective headlines include keywords. They have logical sentence structure, active voice and strong present-tense verbs. As with any good writing, good headlines are driven by good verbs. The rule of thumb is: use present tense for immediate past information, past tense for past perfect, and future tense for coming events.
(5) Do not capitalize every word. Most headline words appear in lower-case letters. The first word in the headline should be capitalized as should all proper nouns.
In The Copywriter’s Handbook, copywriter extraordinaire Bob Bly provides eight time-tested headline categories.
I find it helpful to check this list of possible headline categories before I write a headline so maybe you will benefit from doing the same thing too.
The eight headline categories are:
- Direct Headlines go straight to the heart of the matter, without any attempt at cleverness;
- Indirect Headlines use curiosity to raise a question in the reader’s mind, which the body copy answers;
- News Headlines are self-explanatory;
- How to Headline are likewise self-explanatory;
- A Question Headline must do more than simply ask a question, it must be a question the reader can empathize with or would like to see answered;
- The Command Headline boldly tells the reader what he needs to do, thus, the first word should be a strong verb demanding action;
- The Reason Why Headline is a listing technique that underlies the blogger “list” posts (the text in the body of your posts consists of a numbered list of ______________ which you then incorporate into the headline;
- Testimonial Headlines present outside proof that you offer great value in your post.